Skip to main content

Full text of "The Creative Woman"

See other formats



, Creatine 

A quarterly, Governors State University, Park Forest South, IL 60466 

Vol. 5, No. 2 Fall 

A quarterly published at Governors State University under the auspices of the Provost's Office 

©Governors State University and Helen Hughes 


Helen E. Hughes Editor 

Lynn Thomas Strauss, Managing Editor 

Joan Lewis, Editorial Consultant 

Suzanne Oliver, Graphic Designer 


Donna Bandstra, Social Sciences 

Rev. Ellen Dohner, Religion 

Rita Durrant, League of American Penwomen 

Ann Gerhart, Women's Networking 

Harriet Gross, Sociology/Woman's Studies 

Helene Guttman, Biological Sciences 

Mimi Kaplan, Library Resources 

Young Kim, Communications Science 

Harriet Marcus, Journalism 

Elizabeth Ohm, Library Resources 

Betye Saar, Fine Arts 

Marjorie Sharp, Human Relations Services 

Sara Shumer, Political Theory 

Emily Wasiolek, Literature 

Rev. Elmer Witt, Campus Ministries 

Table of contents 


"Third World Women: The Struggle 

Introduction by June Patton 



"Women and Agricultural Technology 
in The Third World" 

by Joy Gleason Carew 
"Zimbabwe's Children: Education, 
Women and Child Care in Post- 
Revolutionary Societies" 

by Polakow Suransky 
"Indian Films" 

by Santwana Roychoudhari 



"The Constraints and Opportunities 
for Black Women in the 1980' s" 

by Mary F. Berry 
"The Black Mother: Cultural Images 

by Odette Ewell Martin 
"The Promise to Return" (a short story) 

by Nora Massignotti-Cortese 26 
"Phoenix" (a poem) 

by Joanne V. Gabbin 28 



Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood 
by Merlin Stone 

Book Review by Phyllis Wilson 29 
"My Last Glimpse of Miranda" 

A Story by Lynette Iezzoni 31 

Watered or Bold and Free 
by Lawrence C. Goldsmith 

Book Review by Mickolas R. 

Livingston 38 

Editor's Column 

by Helen E. Hughes 41 

Cover Photo, Dick Burd, Guatemala 

The Struggle Continues 

Introduction by June Patton 

Photo: David Ainsworth, Nigeria 

Women of the Third World have much 
in common with their counterparts around 
the globe. The most universal aspect 
of their experience is living in a male 
dominated world in which social rank, 
roles, and status are ascribed by sex. 
Throughout the Third World, women for 
the most part occupy an inferior social, 
economic, and political position to 
men, and their enormous contributions 
to civilization are generally ignored. 
In recent years the governments of 
developing countries have made an 
effort to rectify these conditions and 
some progress has been made. For 
example, in 1975, women of Somalia 
secured the same inheritance rights 
as men and in 1980 women constituted 
sixty-two percent (62%) of the mem- 
bership on the ruling Somai Revolutionary 
Socialist Party. 

While Third World women are 
subject to varying degrees of sexism, 
sexual discrimination is not the cause 
of their major problems, hardships, 
and sufferings. In addition to 
sharing the universal female experience, 
women of the Third World encounter 
special problems resulting from their 
being of a particular race, religion, 
color, culture, class and political 
persuasion. These women are also 
forced to endure the consequences 
of war, imperialism, colonialism, 
neocol oni al i sm , transnati onal i sm , 
revolutions, and poverty. Under- 
standing the special experiences, 
problems, circumstances and conditions 
of Third World women is crucial be- 
cause their beliefs, priorities, and 
actions reflect the reality of their 
regions and countries. To truly appre- 
ciate these women one must not only 

understand how they live, work, and 
organize, but also what they think 
and how their ideas determine their 
priorities in life. This issue repre- 
sents a small but important effort 
addressed to broadening our knowledge 
of the contributions, problems, and 
concerns of women in the Third World. 

Joy Gleason Carew's "Women and 
Agricultural Technology in the Third 
World" is an examination of the vital 
role of women in agricultural produc- 
tion. The majority of women in the 
Third World are engaged in some 
aspect of agriculture and the author 
argues that their productivity could 
be greatly increased by providing 
them with the proper technology. 
Such action, would not only improve 
the nutritional level among Third 
World people, but would also upgrade 
the status of women. 

"Zimbabwe's Children: Education, 
Women and Childcare in Post-Revolution- 
ary Societies" by Polakaw Suransky, 
studies the changing status and 
problems of women in post-revolution- 
ary societies. Suransky maintains 
that the "most pragmatic and salient 
aspect of the changing roles and 
status of women is the question of 
who cares for their children." Using 
Zimbabwe as a case in point, the 
author examines how one Third World 
nation has attempted to resolve 
this question. 

Santwana Roychoudhari ' s "Indian 
Films--Roses and Bleeding Hearts" is 
a study of the exaggerated images of 
women in Indian films, and the few 
exceptional film makers who are pro- 
viding a more realistic portrayal 
of Indian women. 

Section II offers an opportunity 
to examine a few of the problems, 
concerns, and thoughts of minority 
women in the United States. The chang- 
ing mood in America, the national 
economic crisis and an erosion of 
affirmative action are threatening the 
progress and status of women and 
minorities. Being both female and a 
minority, black women have entered a 

very difficult period in their history 
and this is the subject of Mary Berry's 
"The Constraints and Opportunities 
for Black Women in the 1980' s." Berry 
argues that black women should take 
a major role in efforts to prevent 
further deterioration of the position 
of blacks and other minorities. But if 
this erosion is to be stopped, oppor- 
tunities increased, and barriers to 
black women overcome, black women 
must guard against being divided "over 
whether (their) problems are that 
(they) are women or blacks." 

Viewing women as a cultural symbol, 
Odette Ewell Martin's "The Black 
Mother: Cultural Images" examines and 
analyzes the "twin mother image," of 
black women in black fiction. The 
Folk Mother and Destructive Mother 
found in black fiction, Martin argues, 
evolved from a conbi nation of arche- 
types and sociological and historical 
images. More important, the Destructive 
Mother image served as a danger warning 
to black psyche, while the counter- 
balancing Folk Mother embodied cultural 
values and strategies for survival. 

Nora Massignotti-Cortese's short 
story "The Promise to Return" and 
Joanne V. Gabbin's poem "Phoenix" not 
only demonstrate the imagination and 
creativity of minority women, but also 
provide important insights into their 
aspirations and their determination 
to achieve. 

In the May 1, 1981 Connexions: An 
International Women's Quarterly , the 
editors advised their readers, "only as 
we recognize our differences, will we 
begin to grasp the deep roots of our 
similarities." In keeping with this 
line of thought this issue of The 
Creative Woman is devoted to women of 
the Third World. 

Section I: Women and The Third World 


by Joy Gleason Carew 

The struggle for developing 
countries today is not only against 
colonialism, but neocolonialism and 
transnational ism as well. Nascent 
countries are finding themselves bur- 
dened with relationships and develop- 
ment plans that rely heavily on input 
from the developed countries, often 
resulting in defacto rather than 
actual freedom. In their efforts to 
extricate themselves from this tradi- 
tional network, these countries have 
been focusing their attention more on 
issues of internal development, up- 
grading or extending present strengths 
and abilities. No small part of this 
is the recognition that developing 
countries must work to be able to feed 
their own people and not depend so 
heavily on imported goods. 

An overwhelming majority of the 
developing world's population lives 
in rural areas or in marginal shanty 
towns. The energies of this sector 
have been directed towards the produc- 
tion of export-oriented plantation or 
agrt-indus trial crops, but more often 
towards subsistence agriculture and 
sporadic employment. Often overlooked 
when evaluating these populations, is 
the role which women (and children)l 
play. Charged with the bulk of the 
labor and maintenance of these agrar- 
ian societies, women in fact are 
not marginal, but integral function- 
aries in the system. As Vivien, in 
her article, "The Case of Tunisia" 

In Africa, 8 to 9 out of 10 
women live and work in the coun- 
try. It is estimated that they 
perform three to four fifths of 
the agricultural activity of 
the African continent. 2 

As the World Conference of the 
United Nations Decade for Women 
identified last July, women: 

...are one-half of the adult 
population and one-third of the 
official labor force. . .perform 
two-thirds of the working hours 
of the world, earn one-tenth 
of the income and own 1 percent 
of worTd property... 3 

Yet, in spite of the fact that woman's 
participation is vital to the function- 
ing of the agrarian society, the litera- 
ture, the social and legal benefits 
accorded her, and the general social 
hierarchy reduce woman's status to 
that of a minor appendage of the male. 
The root of this apparent inequity, 
as well as its solution, can be found 
not only in the societal structure 
and division of labor as they have 
evolved, but in both male and female 
perceptions. That men may perceive 
women as their inferiors is but one 
piece of the puzzle, that women may 
concur is another. 

Too often, the concept of labor 
has been bound to the notion of indus- 
trial occupation, an activity for 
which the worker receives a wage. 
Labor is, in fact, human endeavor in 
any number of forms: agricul tural-- 
for a cash crop or subsistence return, 
in the home—housekeeping or child 
care, or in the areas of employment 
attached to industry. But because 
labor is identified with wage-earning 
or payment while women in agrarian 
societies tend to work in areas which 
are largely unpaid, the labor statis- 
tics on which many development programs 
are based seldom include information 
on the women. As one author states, 
women are "statistically invisible" 
as the value of their labor is un- 
recognized. 4 This oversight can be 
directly tied to two of the character- 
istics noted in the statement from the 
World Conference of the U.N. Decade 
for Women: women earn only one-tenth 
of the income and own only 1 percent 
of the world's property. Wages and 
ownership are more often taken as the 
measure of a person, rather than the 
objective factors of his/her existence 
and the contributions to the society. 

Contemporary analysts 5 hold that 
a possible origin of women's low status 
can be found in the earliest patterns of 
social structure. Though no treatises 
are extant from that primordial period 
when human societies were taking shape, 
there is reason to believe that biologi- 
cal, rather than physiological or 
intellectual factors encouraged a 
division of labor which, in turn, led 
to a delineation of male/female roles. 
Woman's biological function as the 
producer/nurturer of the new generation 
(importance of which was no doubt well- 
recognized) severely restricted her 
movements. Nomadic or sedentary, she 
was the one occupied with the family 
childcare duties. Her tasks though often 
no less arduous than those of the men, 
did not require her to leave the babies 
and children for long periods; whereas, 
the man, unencumbered biologically, 
was less restricted in either movement 
or distance. From such a pattern of 
restrictions it follows that the belief 
that woman should tend certain crops and 

animals and needed protection. The 
contemporary extensions of this are 
the notions of "woman's work" verses 
"man's work", and ideas about women 
being less capable of handling the 
full range of decision-making duties. 
As the social structure crystallized, 
the status attached formerly to the 
kinds of duties and resultant decision- 
making of the male was transferred to 
the male in general . 

Contemporary agrarian women may 
not counter this assumption of status 
because of their socio-cul tural con- 
ceptions of roles. For them, agri- 
cultural duties are part of a set life- 
role, whereas, for men, agriculture is 
employment or a job. Thus women speak 
of their work as a natural extension 
of their being a member of a given 
social grouping, while men speak of 
an extra-ordinary activity. The 
following passage from Chi nnery -Hesse's 
article, "Some Comments on the Ghanaian 
Situation" illuminates the women's 

Ghana is basically agricultural 
with the agricultural sector 
making the largest contribution 
to the Gross Domestic Product. 
The 1970 census figures of Ghana 
indicated that of the Zh million 
women over the age of fifteen, 
about a third were employed in 
agriculture. (This figure could 
be higher since it is possible 
that some of the women who are 
listed as housewives also do 
some farming which is considered 
so much a part of their wifely 
duties and an integral part of 
their daily life that they might 
have failed to identify that 
function specifically.) 6 

Clearly, the woman's role in this 
kind of society is vital, since her 
duties include the gathering, etc. of 
food as well as the rearing (and health) 
of the next generation. Her position 
is integral and indispensable not only 
to the continuation of the family 
unit, but to the community at large. 
Although the position of "housewife" 
has been viewed as "low" prestige by 

is integral and indispensable not only 
some urban societies, whether in the 
industrialized north or in the indus- 
trially-oriented areas of developing 
countries, this position should not be 
so considered within the agrarian 
socio-cultural ethic. But too often, 
the determination of status has been 
tied to the question of whether a duty 
is "man's work" or "women's workm- 
an extension of the view that man-as- 
protector is more important, hence, 
prestigious, than is woman-as-protected. 
This is clearly a matter of importance 
when considering the success or failure 
of agricultural development programs. 
A good example of this can be seen in 
Alterman-Blay's article, "The Case of 

...according to an ideal image 
as to what women's position 
should be... the interviewers 
were instructed. . .that any 
further activity declared by 
a housewife should not be taken 
into account since this did not 
count as work. . .whereas in fact 
she performs, with her husband, 
productive activities in agri- 
culture, trade or small industry. 

Agrarian populations living near 
urban areas often experience the migra- 
tion of large sections of the male 
portion of the population towards these 
centers of employment. The women are 
left to run an entire society by them- 
selves for extended periods. This 
means that the total infrastructure of 
agriculture, trading, child rearing, 
and the transfer of cultural traditions 
is then handled by the women. The 
men are the itinerants in this family 
structure, coming and going as the 
employment periodically or seasonally 
closes and opens. 

Projects designed to upgrade 
agricultural practices in many develop- 
ing countries are still formed with some 
of the biases alluded to earlier. 
Agricultural education is often offered 
to the male portion of the rural popula- 
tion—the "breadwinner" instead of the 
woman, who performs agricultural duties 
as part of her social role: 

...because it is the man who is 
recognized as the farmer, i.e. 
the one 'in charge' .. .the women 
being regarded as laborers on his 
farm, training in new farm tech- 
niques has been concentrated on 
men so that the benefits of such 
training have not always been 
reflected at the operational 
level. 8 

In the recent Uni 
Decade Conference for 
stressed that progress 
societies must stem eq 
efforts and attention 
men and women of that 
developing country whi 
rights and responsibil 
full participants in a 
society had to offer, 
not only on the women, 

ted Nations Mid- 
Women, participants 

in developing 
ually from the 
given to both 
society. A 
ch neglects the 
ities of women as 
11 that that 
trades unfairly q 

but on itself. 

Nowhere is this question more 
accutely observed than in the area of 
agriculture, where those whose energies 
are most intimately involved are, in 
fact, those who have the least access 
to innovation. Although the majority 
of the developing world's people expend 
most of their energy in agricultural 
pursuits, malnutrition is rampant in 
the Third World. The agri -industrial 
crops flourish, while, just outside 
these agri -industrial fields, the sub- 
sistence plots of the worker and his 
family have changed little over the 
centuries, yielding small return for 
the amount of effort put into them. 

Pinpointing these facts and de- 
veloping programs for the training of 
women is of the greatest importance. 
Clearly, the success of programs 
in agrarian societies will depend on 
training not only the men, but also 
women—those directly involved in the 
agricultural process. What we must 
deal with is the question of women and 
technology, from the simplest to the 
more complex levels, considering 
agriculture, storage and distribution, 
use and maintenance of equipment, and 
associated crafts. 

When addressing the issues of 
development of women and young people, 
the 1979 "Col umbo Declaration on 
Population and Development" stressed 
the need for: 

...measures to discourage 
migration from rural areas... 
to promote country projects 
for the better distribution of 
populations. . .encouragement, 
in rural areas, of food crops 
and small industries. .(especially 
agricultural and food industries) 
...the provision of a wider 
choice of appropriate technolo- 
gies.. . 10 

in fact, specifically identifying the 
importance of inducting women and young 
people into a wider range of agricultural 
and technological activities. By making 
their duties more productive some of the 
serious problems of the developing society 
can be alleviated. The constant push for 
internal migration from rural areas 
to urban centers, which plagues many 
countries in the Third World, could be 
lessened as the search for a means 
to live is no longer aggravated by a hos- 
tile rural environment. As the nutrition- 
al level rises and along with it the 
health of the rural population, agrarian 
societies could evidence both a decrease 
in the number of children born into a 
population and an increase in the long- 
term participation of young people in 
educational programs. 

Questions of family-planning are 
more properly addressed when viewed in 
terms of the socio-cul tural context 
of the family. In the agrarian society, 
the number of children tends to reflect 
a family's social condition. Families 
with access to better nutrition generally 
exhibit a decrease in the number of 
children, as the infant mortality rate 
decreases and more children live. There 
is then a greater possibility of carrying 
on the family into the next generation, 
some of which will be around to care 
for the parents in their declining years. 

When families must no longer employ 
all of their members, adults and children 
alike, in search of a livihood, there is 
then an increase in the number of 

children able to attend school. Tradi- 
tionally, the boy was favored for con- 
tinued education. As the future bread- 
winner, he had a higher claim. 11 But, 
as women are recognized as equally 
valuable in the agrarian society, 
and training programs are directed to 
them increasing their productivity, 
there must also be a reorganization 
of the educational program. As iden- 
tified at the African Symposium on 
the World of Work and the Protection 
of the Child, the goals of this reform 
must be to teach scientific and tech- 
nical concepts as well as reading, 
writing and arithmetic. Students 
must be able to understand more fully 
the world in which they live, and use 
and maintain the equipment that has 
been introduced into their communities. 
Further, the introduction of this new 
generation to the realities of tech- 
nology will be better accomplished 
by eliminating the traditional divi- 
sions between school and working 
life through the incorporation of 
agricultural techniques and technical 
workshops into the curriculum. 12 

The restructuring of the agrarian 
society to recognize the valuable 
role of the woman results in more 
than an upgrading of her status within 
that society. Of benefit to all will 
be the increased productivity of 
the agricultural sector, improved 
general health of the rural population 
as the nutritional level rises, and 
educational reforms that will call 
upon all the members of the develop- 
ing society to take full part in that 


3a.cqixdU.n2. Ki.-lexbo , "SyntheAiA 
Re.ponX" , Afisvccan Symposium on 
the. WofiZd otf Walk and the. Vh.o- 
te.ction ol the. ChiZd, [Yaounde.: 
InteAnatLonaZ Institute, faon. 
Laboh. Studies, 7 979 ) p. 3. 

Souad Uivte.n, "The. Ca&e. ofi Tani^ta" , 
liJome.n at Wohk in the. Labon. T-oK.ce. 
and at Home., Symposium 
on Women and Ve.oJJii.on Making: 
A So dot Voticy Vnx.onJjty, SanleA, NO. 22 [ 
InteAnational Institute, {oh. 
LaboA StudieA, 1976 ) p. 109. 

3. Wohld ConfaoAanca o{ Woman Report, 

July 19Z0 , altad by Cahman 
Valgado Uotaw, RapoAt o{ the., OAganizatlon o{ 
AmeJLiaA.n States , I nteA- Amahl- 
aavi CommiA&ion o{ Woman, (Santo 
Vomingo: 19S0) p. li 

4. "RuAol Woman Hava tka WohAt o{ All 

WohldA" , T-Aaa WeAt India n (St. 
GaoAga'A), MoAch 7, 798/7 p. 12 

5. fAancoiAa LatouA da Uaiga-Vinto, 

A SyntheAli RapoAt, ReAoaAah 
Symposium on Woman and VaaiAion 
Making: A Social Votiay Phlohlty, 
RoAaaAah SahleA, no. 20 (Ganava: 
InteAnational InAtituta fioA 
Laboh. StudieA, 1976) p. 3-5. 

6. WaAy QhlnnoAy-WaAba, "Soma CommantA 

on tha Ghanaian Situation" , Tha 
TAaditlonal ViviAion o{ Woh.\i ~ 
Katwaan tha Sax2A, A SouAca 0{ 
Jnaquallty, ReA aaAah Sympoi>Ajum 
on Woman and VaaiAion Waking, 
ReAaaAah SahleA , no. 21 [Ganava 
InteAnational InAtituta fioA 
Laboh. StudieA, 1976) p. 12. 

7 . Eva Altahman-Blay , "Tha CaAa o{ 

BAazil" , Woman at Wohk in tha 
laboh. T-o Acq and At Homa , ReAaaAah 
SahleA, no 22 [Ganava InAtituta 
{oa Laboh. StudieA, 1976) p. 2. 
%. ChinneAy-HaA6a, "Ghanaian Situation" , 
p. 12. 

9. Coahd, Aadlo InteAvlew, AuguAt,19S0. 

10. "Tha Columbo VaaloAatlon on Popula- 

tion and Vavalopmant" , InteAna- 
tional ConfiaAanca oft VaAtiaman- 
tahlanA (Shi Lanka) Aug-Sapt, 1979 
p. 4. 

11. UlAanda GAaanAtAaat, "Tha Woman 

Waga EaAnoA In Ghana" , Manpowah. 
Supply and Utilization in Ghana, 
NigeAlci and SiahAa Laona (Ganava: 
InAtituta {oa laboh. StudieA, 1979) 
p. 26. 

12. Jaaquallna Ki-leAbo , "SyntheAiA" , 

p. 10. 


The title of a book in progress by 
Mary Clare Powell and Anne Cheatham, 
who are traveling the U.S. seeking 
to interview women who are conceiving 
or creating genuinely new structure 
for business, education, health care, 
law, the arts, banking, resource use, 
etc. They hope to find these women, 
talk to them, write about them, and 
create a network of them for their 
support. They believe the future, 
if there is one is coming out of a 
feminine consciousness: cooperative, 
non-hierarchical, holistic, life- 

If you can help or want further 
information contact them at: 
8002 II iff Drive, Dunn Loring, VA 



A Vegetarian Indian Cookbook 

by Manju Shivraj Singh 

(The Crossing Press, Trumansburg, 

New York , 14886.) 

A complete Indian cookbook from 

appetizers to sweets with an 

emphasis on four varieties of 

main dishes: rice, vegetables, 

legumes and eggs. The recipes 

are traditionally Indian, but 

very easy for a Westerner to 


$6.95 paper ISBN: 0-89594-053-1 

Additional Ra^eAanca 

Wohld Social VAohpaatA Study Association, 
VihAt Wohld Congh.eAA, "IntAoduatoAy 
Voaumant {oa tha Committaa: RuaoI 
Vavalopmant" , VakaA: Jan. 27-23,7 980. 


by Valerie Polakow Suransky, Ph.D.. 

Women: The Dual Colonialism 

It is heartening and perhaps fit- 
ting, that two of the greatest critics 
of women's oppression, and by exten- 
sion, advocates of women's Liberation, 
have been male revolutionary leaders, 
Ami 1 car Cabral and Samora Machel. 
Even as early as 1967 Julius Nyerere 
publicly stated "if we want our 
country to make full and quick pro- 
ress now, it is essential that our 
women live on terms of full equality 
with their fellow citizens who are 
men." 1 But it was Machel and 
Cabral who went even further, claim- 
ing that socialism for Africa meant 
the demise of all forms of exploita- 
tion, including that of women. Con- 
sider the words of Cabral: "In 
Guinea-Bissau we say that women are 
fighting two colonialisms; one 
against the Portuguese and the other 
against men." 2 

Historically, the African woman 
has been denied real authority and 
political power and has long been 
the victim of several traditional 
customs embedded in the social and 
economic fabric of rural life. 
Polygymy, forced marriages, 'bride 
price", lack of divorce, debarment 
from the Council of Elders have 
resulted in uncontested free labor 
for men, (several wives and many 
children) where women have been bought 
and sold as commodities by husbands 
and fathers, and consequently kept 
in positions of ignorance and super- 
stition. In critically reflecting 
on those aspects of the traditional 
culture 1n need of transformation, 
Samora Machel, addressing the first 
Congress of OMW (Org. of Mozambican 
Women) in 1973, outlined the Frellmo 
platform on the status of women: 

"The mechanism of women's 
alienation 1s Identical to 
the mechanism of the coloni- 
zed man in colonial society 
or of the worker in capital- 
ist society— to possess women 
1s to possess workers, unpaid 
workers, workers whose entire 
labor power can be appropriated 
without resistance by the hus- 
band, who is the lord and mas- 
ter. In an agrarian economy, 
marrying many women 1s a sure 
way of accumulating a great 
deal of wealth. The husband is 
assured of free labor which 
neither complains nor rebels 
against exploitation " 3 

Both PAI6C and Frelimo advocated 
women's liberation as part of the 
revolutionary platform, realizing that 
the struggle against exploitation had 
to be fought on all fronts— and that 
a critical analysis of the cultural 
forms underlying sex, marriage, the 
family, and children yielded the neces- 
sity for a radical transformation of 
consciousness and practice, _1f African 
Socialism was to create the new man 
and the new woman. Consider the 
words of Josina Machel who, in dis- 
cussing the initial problems encoun- 
tered by widespread traditional pre- 
judice about the role of women, notes: 

"Our experience has proved 
precisely that we, women, can 
carry out the work of mobili- 
zation and education much 
better than men, for two rea- 
sons: first 1t is much easier 
for us to draw other women 
together, and second men be- 
come convinced more easily of 
the important role of women 
when they are confronted by 
militant and capable women who 
are a living example of what 
they (the women) are propound- 
ing." 4 

In both Zimbabwe and Mozambique, 
the transformation of the social struc- 
ture after independence has included 
the continuing emancipation of women 
as an urgent commitment, and adult 


female literacy and primary education 
for girls have been accorded high 
priority'. In addition, the fight 
against the "double oppression" has 
been entrenched 1n the political Infra- 
structure providing previously denied 
legal rights and benefits to women. 

By far the most pragmatic and 
salient aspect of the changing roles 
and status of women is, however, the 
question of who cares for their child- 
ren. If mothers with young children 
are to become productive members of 
the work force, and if the traditional 
family structure 1s to be superceded 
by one that is more egalitarian, where 
older daughters and adult women have 
access to education, training and a 
life outside the home, the question 
of chlldcare becomes an urgent Issue: 
one which needs to be carefully 
addressed with sensitivity and under- 
standing for both the women and child- 
ren involved. 

Historically, the struggle of 
Zimbabwean women against the two 
colonialisms, shares many similarities 
with that of neighboring Mozambique, 
and one can anticipate that similar 
post- Independence Issues remain to be 

Photo: David Ainsworth 

resolved. Unfortunately, not all 
the necessary demographic information 
about the status of women is yet available. 
However, on the basis of current Informa- 
tion about the status of education, the 
following can be ascertained: (5) 

At present the illiteracy rate 
is approximately 1.6 million and 
tremendous disruption has been caused 
by the war: pupil dislocation; massive 
school closings; a vast population of 
refugees (of whom 150,000 are children), 
and a colonial legacy of elitist and 
wasteful school curricula are only a 
few of the major problems that beset 
Prime Minister Mugabe's government. 
Typically, the educational system 
based on the British colonial model, 
was designed to create a pool of 
semi-educated Industrial and agrlcul - 
tural workers where "Out of every 
1000 black school children, 250 never 
go to school, only 337 complete 
primary school, only 60 go to second- 
ary school, only 37 reach Form Four."6 

Immediate action taken by the 
Mugabe government included free and 
universal primary education and Dr. 
Mtumbuka, the new Minister of Educa- 
tion and Culture has adopted a strong 


policy of attempting to unite educa- 
tion with production, thereby integrat- 
ing theoretical and practical education- 
al activities where 

"The qualitative change will 
consist of a change in the 
curricula from a highly academic 
and theoretical one to a curricu- 
lum suited to the developmental 
needs of Zimbabwe.. .In order 
that our children can become 
aware of their potential as 
producers, not simply dependents 
or consumers, it is the teacher 
who must inculcate correct 
values into the children... "7 

Given the foregoing sketch of the 
enormous re-education task facing the 
leaders of Zimbabwe— the problem of how 
to cope with 150,000 refugee children 
(many of them adolescents and young 
girls who are now mothers with Infants) 
and the need to eradicate illiteracy 
and continue the emancipatory values 
of the liberation struggle as they 
affect the lives of women— it is fit- 
ting to shift our attention to consid- 
eration of both the theoretical and 
practical questions involved 1n setting 
up a comprehensive childcare and pre- 
school system. 

Theoretical Considerations RE: Preschool 
Education And Childcare in Zimbabwe" " 

The cultural Invasion represented 
by the transposition of severely de- 
ficient educational psychology instru- 
ments—which are themselves discrimin- 
atory against children of minority 
groups and cultures in the U.S.A., 
become even more suspect when trans- 
planted in Africa. The reified nature 
of such quantitative psychological 
research should be viewed with appro- 
priate scepticism, for the tests them- 
selves foster particular conceptions 
of the self, linear modes of analysis, 
and emphasize individual differences 
and highly abstract forms of knowing— 
which are not necessarily convergent 
with the collective ethic of a social- 
ist oriented society. 

In addition, another theoretical 
question needs to be addressed: what 
kind of psychology of the child becomes 
the model for early childhood education? 
Much of Western Psychology is predicat- 
ed on the ego, identity formation, the 
development of autonomy, a monolithic 
view of the self and a Hobbesian view 
of child nature. Strongly contrasting 
with the anti -egoist psychology pre- 
valent in China and Cuba. In those 
societies the nursery and the pre- 
school are viewed as the launching 
ground for the fostering of a co- 
operative ethic, an early sense of 
group (as opposed to personal) 
identity, and the development of a 
new consciousness. It 1s vital to 
recognize that social science theory 
is anchored in an ideological milieu 
which fosters different sorts of 
social practice— which in turn affects 
theory formulation and research dis- 
semination. Indeed it was Paulo 
Freire who, in comparing his own 
culturally and politically differ- 
ent literacy experiences in Brazil, 
Chile and Guinea-Bissau stated, 
"Experiments cannot be transplanted; 
they must be reinvented." 8 

Practical Considerations 

In Zimbabwe, a Ministry for 
Women has been established, and the 
direction taken on women's needs, 
issues, and the care of their young, 
will possibly be mediated by the 
following prospectives and concerns. 

Since September 1980, free primary 
education was introduced in Zimbabwe. 
The customary entry point for most 
children is seven years. If women are 
to enter the workforce and young girls 
are to gain access to educational 
opportunities, no mothers, no older 
sisters, and possibly no grandmothers, 
will be available for the care of 
the infant and preschool age child. 
Furthermore, if girls and women are 
to contribute to the rebuilding of 
the state where education serves as 
an instrument of reconstruction and 
not of further domination, furthering 
the dual oppression, the organizational 


infrastructure must change to remove 
women from their condition of domestic 
servitude. That infra-structural 
change involves the construction of 
a comprehensive childcare system. 

I question the wisdom of early 
institutionalization of babies and 
wonder how this practice affects 
their qualities of spontaneity and 
curiosity, as well as the capacity 
to form close, intense relationslfips. 
The suggested practice I would pro- 
pose as an alternative to the pre- 
mature Institutionalization of 
very young children is the creation 
of small flexible childcare centers 
based in rural areas or attached to 
urban workplaces. Here mothers could 
continue to breastfeed their babies, 
visit them during breaks and partici- 
pate in the management of the center. 
In addition to the creation of small 
community based centers, another in- 
novative feature would be to train 
mothers and grandmothers to work 
as para-professionals in the role 
of teachers or assistants. This 
would confer status and income upon 
a job that women have always performed 
as unpaid labor, and would also 
utilize the experience and talent of 
countless mothers. The presence of 
mothers in the centers would alle- 
viate the alienation of the young 

from their parents and would provide 
a home-type extended family environ- 
ment in contrast to an alien institu- 
tional setting. Furthermore, this 
para-professional training would 
include literacy, nutritional education 
and child pedagogy, thereby fostering 
educational improvement for women as 
well as children. The dimension of 
parent, as opposed to professional 
involvement, in the life of the 
young child is a crucial factor and 
would assist in melding the school and 
home together in a new unity. 

The above suggestions are only 
a beginning, food for thought, as it 
were, as the leaders of the new state 
wrestle with the awesome task of 
reconstructing a society. We should 
not forget, however, that it is the 

young child who holds in his or her 
hands, the future of the new man and 
the new woman in Zimbabwe: for it was 
Jose' Marti who said, "We work for 
children because children know how 
to love, because children are the hope 
of the world." 


T. "Socialum and Rural Development?' 
in Selj Reliant TanzaYiia. 
Tanzania PublL&hisig Hou&e, 
Vareh Salaam 1969 p. 248. 

2. Cited in Ste.pha.nis. Urdang 

"Precondition £or Victory': Worn en' 4 
Liberation in Mozambique and 
Guinea-Bluou." I&4tie Vol. l/TII 
no* 1 Spring, 197XT 

3. Op cit p. 26. 

4. Op cit with Jotina Uachel 

p. 28 

5. Thu information t& drawn ^rom a 

paper by Taka Mudariki. [KbiiAt. 
secretary to Ministry o{, Education 
and Culture.) entitted "The. Role 

o£ Education in National Recon&truc- 
tion in Zimbabwe." delivered at 
University o£ Michigan Conference: 
The Recreation ol Zimbabwe 
Feb. 5-1, mi 

6. R. Riddel, Education fior Employment 

cited in Mudariki. op cit p. 3. 

7. Cited in Muaariki. op cit p. 9. 

8. Paulo freire Pedagogy in Procetsi 

The Letter* to GuineJa-&U&au, 
Seabury, New York 1978 p. 9. 


by Santwana Roychoudhari 

The world of Hindi film 1s 
essentially a world of roses and bleed- 
ing hearts and heros. Lavish sets, 
breath-taking locales, dazzling fe- 
male beauties and super heroes are the 
major Ingredients of Indian films made 
1n the Hindi language* 

Most of the 650-700 feature films 
produced by the Indian movie Industry 
per year are in Hindi and serve only 
one major cause 1n India— promoting 
the growth of a national language. 

Borrowing themes from social 
realism such as caste, frustrated love 
and arranged marriage, the plight of 

widows, the inequities of landlordism, 
the exploitation of workers, the revolt 
of women etc., film makers concoct 
exaggerated Images that seduce the 
audience by sacrificing realism to 
glamour, FUm-goers escape to movies 
to forget their everyday drudgery and 
absorb the luxurius eel ul old environ- 
ment of palatial sets, foreign cars 
and sophisticated clothes. Bright 
colors dazzle the eye but do little 
to create atmosphere. 

Emphasized in the Hindi movies 
of the 'SO's and '70*5 were catchy 
songs, sharp dialogue and glamour, 
one of the financially successful 
producer/directors Nasir Hussaln 
said, "Whenever I can, I make the 
mood happy, festive, and I present 
many girls. The people here are so 
sex-starved that the more they see, 



the more they like." ( Filmfare , 
Nov. 16-30, 1979,). 

Most movies share the theme of 
love conquers all— typically the father 
threatens the hero with a horse whip 
and locks up his weeping daughter. The 
characters are always portrayed with 
black and white values. The hero 1s 
always a good human being who 1s strong, 
masculine, the protector of woman's 
honor, and keeps his word, takes 

revenge religiously on villains, and 
dies (occasionally) honorably if love 
is not reciprocated (Mukquadder ke 
Sikkandar). The villain is not a 
villain unless he 1s rotten to the 

Hero-based Hindi films are never 
without a heroine. Women's role Is 
generally traditional. Even if she is 
a convent-educated modern woman with 
expertise in karate, the heroine will 
eventually conclude that her life can 
only be fulfilled by a man. Most of 
these heroines are portrayed as over- 
emotional, dependent on husbands or 
boyfriends; y/ery few have jobs outside 
the home. They are always young and 
attractive, warm and happy, peaceful, 
sociable, virtuous and committed to 
the family. Some directors are fond 
of heroines who come from rich families, 
thus they can be shown wearing a color- 
ful array of clothes for eye-appeal. 
Even the village belles are attractive- 
ly attired, heavily painted, sporting 
the latest hairstyles and neatly plucked 
eye-brows. Women in the average Hindi 
film are mere decoration. 

The treatment of the oldest pro- 
fession (prostitution) in Hindi films 
is worth mentioning since it appears 
as a recurring theme. Some directors 
take pains to glamorize the "Kotha" 
(brothel), although others are more 
honest. Outstanding characters such 
as Chandramukhi , Anarkali, Amrapali, 
Pakeezah, Sharmila in "Mausam" are 
powerfully portrayed on the screen as 
prostitutes. They are shown in sharp 
contrast to the less than real "virgins" 
who dance for their dinner and then 
retire to the backrooms that are for 
eating only. Guru Dutt, a well known 

filmmaker, recreated 1n his movie 
"Sahib, B1bi aur Gulam" the debauched 
lifestyle of an aristocratic Bengali 
landlord whose wife existed as a 
virtual house prisoner, while he spent 
most of his time with a prostitute. 
The most Interesting part of the 
movie concerns the wife's attempt to 
do something about her wretched con- 

Exceptional and sensitive direct- 
ors like Basu Chatter jee and Gulzar 
have portrayed women as wholesome 
characters with vulnerabilities, 
strengths, intelligence and determina- 
tion in their movies, "Swami',' and 

Content of the films really mat- 
ters as we see in Shyam Benegal's 
movies such as "Ankur", "Nishant", and 
"Manthan." In all three movies, his 
heroines exude strength, determination, 
endurance, and unique capacity for 
love and tenderness. 

In spite of censorship guidelines 
in India, violence 1s shown in abundance 
in most Hindi Films. However, kissing 
on screen is still considered to be 
vulgar unless, under the microscopic 
scrutiny of the censors, 1t 1s determin- 
ed justifiable and in good taste. 


Most of the successful formula 
films have four basic moral lessons to 
Impart: (1) family unity, (2) love for 
friend, beloved, and family, (3) com- 
passion for lower castes, prostitutes, 
hard laborers and (4) religious unity 
among Hindus, Muslims and Christians 
("Amar, Akbar and Anthony"), 

Any article on Indian movies 
remains incomplete without discussing 
movies of Satyajit Ray, His name is 
a synonym for an artist of great magni- 
tude to movie-goers all over the world, 

A regional Filmmaker, Ray's 
movies are in Bengali, one of the 
seventeen languages in India, Although 
his Indian audience is limited, his 
movies have found universal recognition. 

He combines the fluid eloquence of 
a story teller with the artistic touch 
of a painter. Unlike Hindi films, his 
are never far removed from reality, 
whether the subject matter is a middle 
class family in a cosmopolitan city 
like Calcutta, or a poor family in a 
remote village, 

Ray places human drama 1n the 
foreground, and unlike new wave film- 
makers, never sacrifices plot or 
characterization for the sake of 
being different. His women are 
flesh and blood characters cast in 
a supremely controlled detached 
style, without direct comment. Like 
a painter (as he 1s in private life), 
Ray sketches characters, adds colors 
and leaves the finished product to 
the audience's interpretation. 

All the women 1n Ray's movies 
share a common characteristic: self- 
respect— they have spunk. Under the 
most adverse conditions they have 
the strength to hold on to their own 
selves, and their sanity. His women 
are often more powerful than their 
male counterparts ("Mahanegar"— B1g 
City and "Pather Panchall"). 

Cherulata, 1n the film of the 
same name, comes alive 1n love with 
a man who 1s not her husband. She 
expresses this love, not 1n wild 
physical passion, but In a subtle 
giving, a sharing, and in her own 
growth as a human being. With 
encouragement and Inspiration from 
the man she loves, a metamorphoses 
takes place. She transcends the 
boredom with her husband and 
domesticity and experiences true 
growth. When her love 1s ultimately 
rejected, Cherulata reluctantly 
surrenders to the dally drudgery of 
family Hfe. Ray freezes the frame 
where Cherulata and her husband 
extend their hands in recondHatlon- 
but stay apart— suggesting the endur- 
ing gap between them. 

As 1n the rest of the world, 
the image of women 1n film fares for 
better or ill, depending on the intent 
of the movie makers,, Movies for fun 
and profit will always yield card- 
board characters. But a small cadre 
of movie-makers such as Ray have the 
Insight and courage to allow women to 
celebrate their own reality. 

Photographs have been reprinted from 
Indian record albums. 



Section II: Minority Women in America 


Remarks by Mary F. Berry 

The 1970' s seemed in many ways 
to be the decade for women. The 
move to ratify ERA, the acceptance 
in ever-widening circles of feminism 
as a viable ideological principle 
with some very practical imperatives, 
the emphasis on affirmative action 
to end sex discrimination in employ- 
ment, budgetary support for programs 
to end sex stereotyping—all rein- 
forced the aura of optimism. Indeed 
the optimism was justified to some 
extent. Although sex stereotyping 
and job discrimination persisted 
throughout the decade and into today, 
increasing numbers and percentages 
of women joined the work force, some 
in high-income jobs held formerly 
only by men. Increasing numbers 
and percentages of women were admit- 
ted into higher education programs 
and graduated as professionals; and 
despite the failure to ratify ERA, 
a woman has been appointed to the 
Supreme Court. 




But toward the end of the 
decade and with the beginning of 
the 1980' s much of this progress 
is being threatened. George Gilder's 
book, Wealth And Poverty , which has 
become the bible of some public 
policy makers, explains that women 
and men and society are better off 
if women perform only traditional 
nurturing roles to support their 
husbands rather than work. 

Minority women who have dis- 
proportionately had to work whether 
they wanted to or not, might sigh 
at this observation. Essential 
women's roles are determined, as 
are men's according to Gilder, by 
biology. In addition to such 
traditionalist philosophy, govern- 
mental policies designed to erode 
affirmative action by rejecting goals 
and timetables, threaten women's 
economic progress. And in particular, 
progress is threatened in those 
professions where opportunities are 

One of the observations Gilder 
makes in his very irritating book 
underscores a particular problem that 
black women have: that the emphasis 
on affirmative action for women has 
taken away opportunity from black men. 
One of the results of the universal i- 
zation of the civil ri-ghts movement 
from Black issues to Hispanic issues 
to sex discrimination issues, has been 
the accentuation of the particular 
difficulties faced by black women and 
because they are black, and not because 
they are men and women. To the extent 
that black women joined in the women's 
movement and benefitted from it, they 
had to understand and accept the pres- 
ence of sex discrimination as an 
important barrier to their own advance- 
ment. Black women found as part of 
the myth and sometimes reality that 
they would be counted as "two-fers"" 
two for one in employers' reports on 
affirmative action in employment. 


Even their white sisters in the strug- 
gle would complain that black women 
had an advantage because they were 
both blacks and women. Black men 
would complain that black women were 
more acceptable than they because 
of the white male's psychological 
fears of black men. So, black 
women caught it coming and going. 
It is true that many persons ob- 
served a so-called "mammy syndrome" 
wherein white male employers seemed 
to regard black women as unthreaten- 
ing ornaments to have around, while 
rejecting a black male presence. 
This attitude may have occured either 
because they were regarded as objects 
of eroticism or reminded men of 
the old slave mammy on the plantation. 

It is also true that some black 
women often found themselves better 
prepared to take advantage of oppor- 
tunities when offered. Black families 
have historically tried to provide 
education as a first priority for 
their female children in order to 
give them greater control of their 
own lives and protect them from 
situations in which they could be 
compromised sexually. A reporter 
asked me recently whether sexual 
harassment was a new phenomenon for 
black women. I pointed out that 
while it has been highlighted be- 
cause of the white women's movement, 
sexual harassment has been a part 
of black women's lives since their 
arrival on these shores as slaves. 
The slave master's exploitation of 
black women, the sexual oppression 
of black women workers in homes and 
factories after the war, all have 
been our experience. 

Black males have often been 
forced into lower paying jobs 
sooner, effectively restricting 
opportunities early in their careers. 
In addition, especially in desegre- 
gated schools, the push-out rates 
of black male students have been 
exorbitant. Thus fewer black males 
have been educated sufficiently to 
take advantage of opportunities 
that have become available. Also, 
disproportionate numbers of women 

are single household heads or divorcees 
with children. This is fact. But 
we know it because of societal pressure 
and lack of opportunity for black 
males. His lack of opportunity 
means that black women have long 
experience in the workplace. As 
a result of these conditions, black 
women hold twice as many white- 
collar jobs as black males. They 
also earn a greater percentage of 
white female income than black 
males earn of white male income. 

Despite this slight economic 
advantage (or disadvantage) black 
women have over black men, black 
women suffer from an erosion of 
support for blacks in general. For 
example, the current round of budget 
cuts will erode the higher education 
gains blacks have made since 1965 
when the student aid programs started. 
Through the use of BEOG's and NDSL's 
and TRIO, the black college attendance 
rate for high school graduates is 
about even with the white rate. In 
addition, the increased enrollments 
have made it possible at both black 
institutions and predominantly white 
institutions to hire more black teach- 
ers and administrators. Many of 
these professionals and managers 
are women, including some black women 

In elementary-secondary education 
and other social programs, the progress 
of the last 25 years has not only 
helped more people, but has provided 
employment for minority women as Title I 
teachers, CETA workers, food stamp 
and welfare supervisors, managers 
and other positions across the entire 
public service bureaucracy. Blacks 
have wanted to work in the private 
sector, but the private sector has 
not been as willing to hire and pro- 
mote and retain them. 

Whatever the economic picture 
existing for the black woman, she has 
in effect been triply oppressed: as 
a worker, as a black, and as a female. 
An overwhelming number of black women 
have always worked full-time while 
a majority of white women have worked 


part-time. Generally black women have 
also earned less than white women. 
Even when highly educated, black women 
earned less than equally educated 
white women. Both earned about 
2/3 of what black males earned and 
one-half of what white males earned. 

What can we do to prevent more 
erosion of opportunity? How can 
opportunities be increased and the 
barriers to black women overcome in 
this period? Do not let people 
divide us over whether our problems 
are that we are women or blacks. 
Recognize the community of our cause 
and interest. Recognize that until 
the problems of black men are solved, 
the female-run households and the 
resulting economic problems will not 

be solved. The professional black 
women who wants a family needs a 
black professional man. 

Black women must support femin- 
ist causes because the causes are 
just, because of the barriers we 
face as women, and because of the 
importance of coalitions to the 
struggle for equity. Join in and 
support organizations focused on 
the particular interests and oppor- 
tunities of black women. Recognize 
that rules permitting the opportun- 
ity for employment and participation 
must exist. That is why all women, 
and especially black women, must be 
active and understanding promoters 
of the concept of affirmative action. 
We must understand that affirmative 
action is designed to end the prefer- 
ential treatment that white males 
received for so long, by seeing to 
it that merit standards and not an 
old white boy's or an old white girl's 
network is utilized. White women, if 
we are to join their cause, must 
not use an old white girl's network 
as we see too often in the professions. 
The end result is to increase the 
possibility that those who really 
have merit are included and not 

You should also not become overly 
concerned about being regarded as 
an elite if you are a black his tori an-- 
a professional woman--a talented tenth, 
somehow receiving benefits while the 
black masses are left out. The best 
trained minds must help the rest. 
From one to whom more is given, more 
is required. The problem is not 
too many middle-class black persons, 
but too few. Only about 10,000 black 
families, for example, make over 
$50,000 a year and in 
both husband and wife 
of affirmative action 
and employment is to 

those families, 
work. The goal 
in both education 
increase the 

numbers and percentages of those 
who become middle-class who will in 
turn help the rest of the community 
to give us not only equal justice 
under the law, but equal control 
over the law. 


Do not worry overmuch about the 
political situation that seems to 
draw every bit of sustenance from our 
efforts to close the gap that separates 
us from the rest of society, and 
attacks the very opportunities you 
seek. Keep on pushing. Woodrow 
Wilson once observed prophetically, 
"It is only once in a generation 
that a people can be lifted above 
material things. That is why 
conservative government is in the 
saddle two-thirds of the time." 

On November 4, 1920, Warren G. 
Harding, who one senator described as 
"the best of the second-raters," was 
elected by a landslide to usher in a 
conservative era. The folksy, easy- 
going, amicable Harding brought 
normalcy not nostrums, an era of 
business going its own way compara- 
tively unfettered by serious federal 
or state interference. Unhindered 
business development would prepare 
the way for universal prosperity. 

Within ten years the most 
catastrophic collapse in American 
history had taken place. The dream 
of the new prosperity became a 
nightmare. Franklin Roosevelt swept 
the Republicans from power telling 
the American people that the Repub- 
licans failed with the economy be- 
cause "their efforts have been cast 
in the pattern of an outworn tradition." 
They knew, he said, "only the rules 
of a generation of self-seekers." 
They had no vision of the need to 
succor the poor and needy, or to 
realize that government had a respon- 
sibility for the entire economic 
welfare of the country and not just 
of those who had great material 
wealth. They had no vision, and 
when there is no vision, the people 
perish. His election led to a 
period in our nation's history when 
such vision and such responsibility 
on the part of government has become 
expected by the vast majority of 
Americans . 

those who preach a return to normalcy 
today, those who feel that returning 
the money-changers to the high seats 
in the temple of our civilization is 
a restoration of that temple to 
ancient truths, seem to be prevailing-- 
as they did in the 1920' s. But if 
history is any guide to the future, 
when their projected safety nets for 
the poor and needy turn out to be 
leaky vessels in which many people 
of all races drown, they will be 
run out of the temple and some other 
political force will displace them. 
Either it will work and we need to 
maintain our competitive position, or 
it will not, and some other political 
force will come into play. This is 
not a partisan statement, but merely 
a fact of political life. 

And whatever economics--voodoo, 
Keynesian, supply-si de--has run its 
course, we will still be wherever we 
are, ready with a developed mind and 
assurance of the moral authority 
of our position. We will be ready- 
understanding the constraints and 
opportunities for a minority woman, 
and ready to influence events in the 
next decade. Then we can be about the 
business of humanizing America and 
improving the life options of our 
people, bringing intellectual excite- 
ment and fulfillment to your own 
lives and those of our children. 

* RemaKkA dellveKed at the Luncheon 
Meeting o{ the Ai>60 elation o{ Black 
Women HU>toKtan& , October 19 SI. 

Mi. BeKKy ti> CommU>6loneK and Vice 
QhaJji {ok the U.S. Comml6Alon on 
Clv-lt Rights, EonmeK Abitbtant 
SecKetaKy {ok Education {ok the 
VepaKtment o{ Health, Education 
and l<Jel{aKe, and ?Ko{ei>£oK o{ 
HlbtoKy and Law, Senior Fellow, 
at the Institute {ok the Study o{ 
Educational. Volley , HowaKd Unlv entity. 

We know that history is often 
a guide to the present, and that 



by Odette Ewell Martin 

The African-American woman, like 
women all over the world whatever their 
time and place, is a cultural sym- 
bol. The Good Mother, Bad Mother, 
and Mammy echo in the historical, 
sociological, and literary images of 
the black woman as a cultural 
symbol. In her sociological study 
of a group of young black women, 
Ladner explores the Good Mother image 
and its significance in black cul- 
ture. Characterizing the contem- 
porary black mother as strong, autono- 
mous, independent, and hardworking, 
Ladner observes that the black 
mother functions both as a "survival 
figure" and as a "mediator of values." 
Not only is she responsible for the 
nurturing of her young. She must 
socialize the children to cope with 
America's "institutional racism" as 
well as teach them black cultural 
values and strategies. (1) This 
positive image of the black woman is 
affirmed at an historical level 1n 
recent studies of slavery by 
Blassingame, Genovese, and Gutman. (2) 

A contrasting study by two psycholo- 
gists suggests a Bad Mother Image. 
Grier and Cobbs describe the "medi- 
ating mother": a slave mother who 
in teaching her child to survive the 
rigors of slavery must also teach 
that child to be a slave: to break the 
child's will as demanded by the 
slavemaster was to destroy the child's 
sense of self as able and competent. (3) 

In black fiction, the archetypes 
and the sociological and historical 
images resonate in black women char- 
acters, creating a Folk Mother and a 
Destructive Mother. 

A brief discussion of the Folk 
Mother and the Destructive Mother 
images in four works of black fiction 
will allow us to tentatively fill in 
both the contours of the twin mother 
images and their black cultural 
meaning. The first, The Folk Mother, 
1s a positive image 1n black fiction. 
She is Ladner' s "strong black woman," 
hardworking, independent, psycholo- 
gically intact, and above all, loving. 
The Folk Mother literally and symbol - 


ically functions not only as a 
"survival figure," but most import- 
antly, as "the keeper of the spirit" 
of black life and culture. She 1s 
most often pictured as a dark skinned 

Aunt Hagar in Langston Hughes* 
novel, Not Without Laughter (1930), 4 
is a model "strong black woman," 
refusing to yield to defeat. She 
devotes her life to an endless strug- 
gle against hostile social pressures, 
and to the welfare of her children 
and grandchild. There are elements 
of the Mammy 1n Hagar* s unabashed 
love of the "good white folks" and 
her ready willingness to forgive 
the "bad." More central to the 
character, however, is her Insistence 
to her grandson that he grow up to 
"be somebody," that 1s, that he achieve 
professional status and function as 
a "leader" of his people. Through 
such personal achievement he would 
demonstrate to whites that blacks 
are deserving of full partnership 1n 
the society, and to blacks that such 
achievement is both desirable and 
possible. This combination of 
values and strategies constitutes 
one historical pulse of the Black 
Community's thrust toward full par- 
ticipation in the American system. 
This black version of the American 
Dream, with emphasis on individual 
accomplishments, also required 
commitment to the racial group. In 
this sense "the Individual" is "the 

Pilate, in Ton1 Morrison's, 
Song of Solomon (1978) 5 is not only 
a modified version of the Folk Mother, 
but an all too rare kind of black 
woman portrayed in black fiction. 
Born without a navel, suggesting that 
she is truly a self -created woman, 
Pilate packs her daughter on her back 
as she travels across the country. 
Only when she has seen and done what 
she chooses, does she settle down in 
one place. Like the traditional Folk 
Mother, however, she accepts responsi- 
bility for loving and nurturing all 
the young of the Community. Conse- 
quently, when her nephew, Milkman, 

elects his own journey of self -defini- 
tion, it 1s Pilate who helps him 
learn that he must anchor himself in, 
and commit himself to family and 
Community. Only 1n this manner does 
he truly experience the love and 
benefit of all the accumulated wisdom 
that is available to him. Thus forti- 
fied he can confront the risks In- 
herent 1n self-definition. Unlike 
Hagar, Pilate not only exhorts, she 
models the blues value with Its 
special tensions of the communal 
and Individual. 

Significantly, the Destructive 
Mother is usually light or even 
white skinned. Color 1s crucial 
here because 1t symbolizes black/ 
white cultural confrontation and 
1s reminescent of issues raised by 
Grier and Cobbs' "mediating mother." 
Thus, the Destructive Mother as a 
negative image in black fiction, 
is a cautionary figure, a warning 
of the dangers of total assimilation. 
In Its more sophisticated form, 
however, the image also embodies the 
love/hate relationship between black 
and white America. 

In essence, the Destructive 
Mother abandons the black world 
for the white, to her own and her 
children's detriment. Such 
portraits are rather commonplace 
1n black fiction. Jessie Fauset gives 
us such a woman In the quadroon 

Olivia of Comedy: American Style (1933). 
(6) Olivia so detests being black 
that she alienates her family, destroy- 
ing a darker skinned son, 1n trying to 
convince them to also reject their 
blackness. She chooses the larger 
society over family, deserting her 
husband and children to live in Paris 
and "pass" as white; At novel's end 
it 1s clear that Olivia is an unhappy, 
pathetically lonely woman. 

Through the tangle of familial 
relationships depicted in Chester H1mes' 
novel, The Third Generation (1954) (7) 
the Destructive Mother Image permits 
an 1n-depth exploration of the nega- 
tive effects of assimilation on her 
children and husband, as well as her- 



self. The character of Lillian, the 
white skinned daughter of white skinned 
ex-slaves, is on the one hand the 
"mediating mother," and on the other, 
an emblem of white America, alternately 
hostile to, and accepting of, the 
African-American. Lillian marries 
a black skinned man and then rejects 
him because of her deep rooted feelings 
about his skin color (her terror at 
slipping back into the abyss of 
slavery). Her sons also suffer as she 
attempts to destroy their love and 
identification with their father and 
all things black. His self-esteem is 
battered by his wife, and achievement 
then somehow eludes him. But the final 
result for Charles, Lillian's favorite 
son is total personality disintegration. 
Learning to distrust his own capabilities, 
he too is unable to achieve. Responding 
to what are now internal as well as 
external pressures, he lapses into 
violent, dissolute, and criminal be- 
havior. What Himes so powerfully 
delineates in Charles and his father 
are the ravages of "internalized oppres- 

Internalized aggression and in- 
ternalized cultural conflict consti- 
tute the two basic forms of internal- 
ized oppression. The former is a 
consequence of the victim's failure 
to act on his or her rage against the 
oppressor, so turning it inward 
against the self. The latter occurs 
when individuals are members of two 
societies, one of which claims cul- 
tural dominance (and is in fact 
physically and politically dominant),, 
DuBois uses the term "double conscious- 
ness" to describe this phenonmenon: 
although their own culture tells them 
that they are valuable and competent 
human beings, blacks also view them- 
selves through the censuring perspec- 
tive of the supposedly superior 
culture. (8) The end result often 
is that the victim comes to hate the 
self and the racial group, finally 
internalizing a sense of powerless- 
ness and hopelessness. The results 
are perhaps more deadly than the 
consequences of actual physical 
oppression. (9) 

Charles and his father are not 
however, the only victims of intern- 
alized oppression. Although he is 
scarcely known for his feminist 
sympathies, Himes nonetheless 
demonstrates remarkable fidelity 
to psycho-social reality in portray- 
ing Lillian as a woman who has internal- 
ized both racial and sexual oppression. 
Not only is there a rendering of the 
black's individual response to the 
pressures of racism in the family 
portrait, but also a faithful 
delineation of the black woman sub- 
ject to the laws and customs of 
the male worlds, black and white. In 
the course of the novel, Lillian's 
initial violence and rage disinte- 
grates into hysteria, sexual dysfunc- 
tion and paranoia. Her misperceptions 
of blackness and her ensuing "crazy" 
responses reveal white America's 
irrationality vis a vis the African- 
American, and the male world's 
unreasoning attitudes and behavior 
toward the female. 

In black fiction the Destructive 
Mother is a ubiquitous image serving 
as a danger warning to the black 
psyche, while the counterbalancing 
Folk Mother embodies those black 
cultural values and strategies which 
must be preserved for physical and 
psychological survival. The black 
woman's struggles are rendered in 
the twin mother images and parallel 
struggle by the Black Community for 
both self-definition and full parti- 
cipation in the mainstream of American 


J. LadneA, Joyce. A. To motinou) 1 * 
TomoxAov): The Black Woman 
\Gandcn cJUty, N.V., Voable.da.Lf, 
1971). p. 165, p. 63. 

2. RlaA&lngamc, Jon W. The. Slave. 
Community : Plantation LLfic <cn 
the. AnteheMum South {New Vonk: 
Qx&on.d Univ. Vnm, 7 972); 
GcnoveAC,, Roll, JoAxtan, 
Roll: The WonJLd the. Slave* Hade. 
Jew VoaJz: Pantheon-Random, 1974) 







Gasman, Henhvut G., The Bl&cfe 

FcuniJtu in Slaven.y and r/Leetiom , 

I7 b0-1m [NewVoxkt Vanthcon, 1976) . 
Gnivi, William H. and Vnict W. CobbA, 

Black Rage-, Jn&iod. Sen F/ied M. 

Hajuvu (New VoA.k: Santam-Gfi.064c£, 

Originally pubti&hed 1930; New Votikt 

CollLeA-MaanuMan, 1969. 
(New Votik: Uw American LibMJiy) 
[Ueui VoKk: Stoke&) . 
(New yo*fe: Signet-New American Uhnxmy 

PuBau, W.E.B., "0^ OuA. Spiritual 

Sliving*,* in The Soul* oj Stack 

Folk, [1903, KpZ. New York: Johnson, 

TWT\. p.3 
KarxLLner, Abnam and Lionet Ovetey, 

The Monk o& Opptie&Aion : Exploration* 

Ajn the verlonaJUXy ofl the American 

Negro {1 951, New Vorht 

Meridian-World, 1965), pp. 10, 304-10. 
E avion f Erantz, The Wr.etched oj the 

Earth. IntKo. Jean Foul Sarbie. 

TrakT. Con&tance Earrington (New 

Vonkt Evergreen-Grove, 1968), p.236. 

Photo: David Ainsworth 




by Nora Massignottl-Cortese 

Photo: Dick Burd 

Natural Obstacles 

The story of Hispanic women in the 
United States is one of tragedy and 
triumph. Tragedy, because we haven't 
stopped to realize that what we seek 
1s actually a chimera and therefore, 
our burning desire to become assimilat- 
ed will never come to pass. Our triumphs, 
we acknowledge proudly, have been 
achieved through our hard work and 
perseverance which we have had to show 
before the "natural" obstacles of this 
city (ie. discrimination, prejudice, 

Rosa 1s typical of the latin 
woman in Washington. Her resources 
are limited and her task monumental. 

She admits that she has cried bitter 
tears of loneliness and frustration. 
However, she has also cried out in 
joy and pleasure in celebration of 
small successes in learning her way 
around in this cultural maze. 

"I arrived in this city 4 years 
ago and although you may not believe 
it, I only planned to stay a short 
time. As soon as I get together a 
few dollars I'm going back to my pueblo. 
Oh, sure, it's true that I've already 
been here four years but that don't 
matter any, cause I'll be leaving soon. 
You know, to tell you the truth, with 
the little that I earn I barely make 
the rent and the rest I send to my 
family who depend on 1t. Understand?" 


Rosa tries to show me that she 1s 
able to find her way out of this 
labyrinth. Although I admire her energy 
I can't help feeling for her situation. 
This trap 1s not new to mankind. We 
have all found ourselves 1n situations 
from which we were either unable or 
unwilling to extricate, ourselves. 


Everyone recognizes the benefits 
obtained from a prolonged stay outside 
of one's country. Each return trip to 
one's familiar environment brings with 
it a new perception regarding those 
people, places, and things which had 
previously been taken for granted. 
Nevertheless, the extended loss of con- 
tact with country, family, customs, and 
music provokes a deep nostalgia and 
uprooting, which induce day to day 
frustrations in place of successes. 

It is at those times that we decide 
that we must, at all costs, return 
home for good. Our sense of futility 
and confusion is highlighted, as a 
series of elements enter to manipulate 
the situation. All of our senses are 
put to the test. This tears at our 
emotional ties and prevents us from 
reasoning clearly. We finally come to 
the conclusion that it is better to 
try to forget or to bury those desires 
to return home in order to maintain 
our sanity. 

As we continue our conversation 
with Rosa she insists that as soon as 
she finds a better job and learns more 
English she will be able to save up 
enough to return. Watching her, I 
can't help but see myself as I recall a 
conversation held with a fellow journal- 
ist from France, at a Journalist Club. 
After asking me the classic, "Where are you 
you from?" came the second classic, 
"Have you been here long?" 

"About ten years," I answered, 
"but I'll be returning soon." 

She smiled understanding^ 
as she quietly counseled, "If you 
really want to return you had better 
do it now. Don't wait one more minute!" 

Then I heard myself sounding just 
like Rosa as I Insisted that I had 
only to take care of a few loose ends 
before I'd be back in my country. 

"Listen to me," she added, "a 
lady I adored said the same thing. She 
continuously repeated that she would 
return, that she wouldn't stay one 
more day in this country. Believe me, 
it was pathetic!" 

Curiously, I asked her, "Was it 
your mother?" 

"No," she replied, "it was my dear 
grandmother'! . 

* Rtptunttd in pa/ut ^tom El Zojvujo 
ComuyiUa/Uo/ Octab/it 1981 

Hona. tta&6<Lgnot£i-Covttee. <ti a. cluZe/m 
joutinaLL&t who hou> bzzn trying to 
KitvJin homz &<bvcz 1968. 



for E.R.To 

Lovely bird, 

No need to fear your quivering wings. 

Though pinioned long 

They have not forgotten how to 

Through the air, to slice and caress 

the currents. 

You, Beautiful bird, 

With purple fantasia- fluting song 

You can sing those heart notes 
Soul notes to those who will hear. 

Golden winged bird, 

Consumed by the fire of your vision. 
You can rise again from your ashes to 

You, bird of matchless beauty 

Whom Egyptian mystics made immortal, 
You can soar. 

You can soar. 

Joanne V. Gabbin 


Section III: Legacy of The Goddess 

by Merlin Stone. 

New Sibylline Books, Inc. New York, 

Book Review by Phyllis Wilson 

The poet Robert Graves defines 
mythology as "the study of whatever 
religious or heroic legends are so 
foreign to a student's experience 
that he (sic) cannot believe them 
to be true." In the two volumes of 
Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood , Merlin 
Stone introduces us to a broad spec- 
trum of our Goddess and heroine heri- 
tage through the myths of many dif- 
ferent cultures. These myths are 
the religious foundation of the cul- 
tures, the basis of their world 
view, their understanding of how 
things are and why. Feminist schol- 
ars know better than to say, "Oh, 
that's just a myth." If myth re- 
flects the deepest psychological 
reality of a people, and that myth 
1s based on a strong, proud, free 
and creative Goddess, women do In- 
deed have a rich heritage to be proud 

But you and I as women and as 
feminist researchers do not exist 
In a vacuum, and we are constantly 
proving and re-proving the strength 
of women throughout history to our 
male peers and colleagues. In my 
class on the history of women's 

spirituality, for example, one of the 
women was admonished by her husband 
to remember that we are only creating 
myths. Does that mean that women have 
no history and that we are making it 
all up? Does he mean that we're 
making new fairy tales? If only we 
were creating the new myths, wouldn't 
those myths be wonderful? 

This 1s not yet the time when 
any feminist writer can afford less 
than Impeccable scholarship, for we 
are still being judged and valued by 
patriarchal institutions on their 
own terms. On this level, I disagree 
with Stone's decision to provide her 
readers (and their critics) with two 
volumes of undocumented fantasies. 
Imagine being told by a woman author 
that she eliminated all footnotes 
because they would have taken another 
whole volume. This 1s just another 
variation on "Don't you worry your 
pretty little head about all those 

Clearly I have both enthusiasm 
and reservations about Ancient Mirrors . 
Enthusiasm because these are wonder- 
ful source books, rich with imaglna- 


tion and detail. Reservations for 
the same reason. Stone has created 
such a skillful blend of the found/ 
translated and the newly created that 
it is impossible (since she doesn't 
tell us) to determine which of the 
selections is an historical piece 
and which she wrote in the style of 
that culture. She calls her new 
pieces "reconstructions," using the 
analogy of Sir Arthur Evans' assem- 
blage of the archeological puzzle 
pieces of Minoan civilization at 
Knossos. But as a historian I want 
very much to know which of the relics 
are genuine and which were manufac- 
tured yesterday. As a poet or a ritu- 
alist or a dreamer, it doesn't make 
a bit of difference to me. Your own 
reaction to Ancient Mirrors may well 
depend on your use for the material. 
Wonderful to read to your daughters 
for powerful female role models. Not 
so good as the basis for a scholarly 

These serious reservations 
aside, the material in Ancient Mirrors 
is a treasure store of inspiration, 
cross-referenced so that we can find 
an appropriate poem, prayer, or 
invocation for a particular holiday 
or rite of passage, as it was (or 
might have been) celebrated in many 
different cultures. In a time when 
Western history 1s the most easily 
available, Stone's wide variety of 
material, including many Third World 
sources, 1s a welcome addition to 
the feminist bookshelf. 

The brilliant variety of Goddess 
Imagery defies any categorization. 
Do we usually think of the moon as fe- 
male and the sun as male? Read the 
Japanese myth of the sun Goddess, 
AmcuteAo&u., who was coaxed out of hiding 
by the brilliance shown Her in a 
mirror. We think of Mother Earth, but 
the Egyptian Ma* (Sky Goddess) protected 
the whole world with Her curved body. 
The Middle and South American section 
is particularly valuable, as so little 
1s readily available on our Goddess 
heritage from these cultures. And 
since we live on Native American land, 
the myths of the Native American Goddess- 

es can give a deep richness to our 
everyday lives. 

Women artists, poets, and play- 
wrights are already making creative 
uses of the Inspiration provided us 
in Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood. 
Karen Malpede, founder of New York • s 
New Cycle Theater, has written a play 
based on the Celtic Goddess, Macha, 
as portrayed in Ancient Mirrors. This 
may be the real value of Stone's work- 
to encourage each of us to dream and 
to create, based on the rich history 
of our Goddess and heroine heritage. 
In a recent television Interview, 
mythologist Joseph Campbell despaired 
of the future of our civilization be- 
cause the old myths are dying and not 
being replaced. Wouldn't 1t be de- 
licious if women were to create the 
new myths? And who do we think created 
the old myths? 

I say to you, and to all women— 
we shall create myths 

strong as sunlight, wide as the sky 
as sure and unending as the sea! 
For we are the myths, their creators 

and the legends too 
we are the new women 

and the old women 
and in our faces we can see each 

other becoming the women of 

our dreams. 

We have so much richness— 

the earth and the moon call out to us 

in deep recognition 
the seasons flow in our bodies 

we know what is true— 
I say to you and to all women 
we are creating our myths, our lives, 
and our world 
and this 1s true. 

Judith Treewoman 



by Lynette Iezzoni 

I rarely visit Provincetown anymore 
since that summer when I ran a fudge 
store there, but every so often I board 
the Boston-Provincetown "Sea Dream" and 
sail on over to visit my old friend 
Miranda. Miranda has been a bartender 
at the Pied Piper Bar ever since her 
husband disappeared five years ago. She 
is still the card she always was, saying 
things like, "You're one of the nicest 
mirages I know, Edith, you almost make 
me want to believe that the world exists 
By the time I've rocked for five hours 
on the Sea Dream, chuckling with the 
Dexter Family Gospel Band, I'm all 
reved up for Miranda, who waits on the 

pier, striking and beautiful even in 
that mob, with her curls blowing in 
a halo about her head. 

Spread out in a curve behind her, 
Provincetown is miniature and perfect, 
a doll house community with a thousand 
tiny windows staring like blank human 
eyes at the spot where water meets sky. 
I always trot on up to the high deck 
as we dock. The clouds puff around 
above me, the water churns below, 
Miranda starts waving; and the happi- 
ness of a boat docking descends upon 
everyone, and even those who have no 
one meeting them begin to wave and cheer 


My last visit I cheered with a woman 
who was bringing a bag of blueberries 
to her artist son. Today I'm standing 
beside a man who's wearing an eskimo 
jacket with the hood tied under his 
chin even though it's July. 

"Honey pie, how are you?" I scream. 
"How are you, my favorite bartendress, 
my lovely goddess friend?" Waving 
frantically, I bump into the man with 
the eskimo jacket, but he's staring 
eagerly at the pier and doesn't notice. 
I throw my bag over my shoulder and 
escape to the deck below, where people 
are impatiently shoving and a man 
jabs my thigh with his golf bag. 

"So was the sea calm today?" Miranda 
asks as we walk arm in arm down the 

"Very," I nod. 

"It's been a lovely week here, Edith. 
Blue skies, cool nights and the moon is 
edging towards full." 

I laugh. Miranda dotes on the moon. 
Every full moon, even during the winter, 
she crosses the dunes at the end of 
Shankpainter Road and walks along the 
water's edge, feet dancing in the foam, 
all the way to the Point, where she sits, 
she says, and does nothing until the 
moon sets and dawn begins to glow. I 
have never done this with her and think 
I am her only friend who knows about 

"So how's the boy?" I ask. 

"He's a man by now." 

"Oh no!" I joke. 

"Oh yes. It's amazing to watch a 
son grow, knowing you produced him. 
He still worries about me, because of 
what Jack did, but I tell him to just 
go about his business as if I don't 
exist, and all will be well." 

"Same old goddess." We've reached 
the end of the pier and she leads me 
onto Commercial Street. 

Suddenly, Miranda laughs, cocking 
her head and smiling. She has such a 
marvelous face and I glance at it, 
fervently, spying. In the crowd she is 
so central and enchanted. By her side, 
I feel ^jery awkward. 

(This, unfortunately, is not unusual. 
A colleague of mine calls me "Army 
Helmet" for the way she says I walk 
as if dragging a pile of clanking army 
helmets by ropes tied to my waist. 
This she attributes to old maidhood 
and natural repression, but she also 
calls me Army Helmet because of my 
"rational and meticulous brain, how 
it lies like a terrified iron warrior 
within me." And, to boot, because my 
"jellyfish conscience is tormented by 
the reality and vast numbers of ex- 
isting army helmets." I have asked 
her why, if I'm so governed by army 
helmets, am I a professor of Women's 
Studies? "For \/ery obvious, feminine 
reasons of guilt, over-compensation 
and longing.") 

Weaving down Commercial Street 
with the hot, excited crowd, Miranda 
and I pass Seadrift Candies, Lazy 
Day Hot Dogs, Your Body Health Foods, 
and Town Hall, where bums and young 
people are lying shoulder to shoulder 
in the sun. We pass Machismo Leather, 
The Shoe Fantasy, and, finally, Belgian 
Fudge, where I worked that summer long 
ago: a little orange hole in the wall 
between the movie theater and a nut 
store. I named my yogurt machine Joe, 
and it spit its mix daily across the 
ceiling. Miranda, too, was young 
then, a runaway, exquisite as an angel, 
with yellow ringlets and an hourglass 
figure. While I wrestled with Joseph, 
my yogurt machine, she wrestled with 
armies of drooling, infatuated men. 
Usually the men (including Joseph) 

Arm in arm, we cross Winthrop Street, 
and the crowd suddenly dissolves and 
I am conscious again of breathing. 
Brilliant red roses sparkle on a white 
picket fence; a bicyclist whizzes by, 
hair bobbing in the sun. Birds mur- 
mur, sea gulls drone, and off to our 
left, the bay glistens like the crafty 


blue eye of the Great Sea Mother. In 
front of Gardener's Inn, two young men 
are sitting in a tree, reading; and 
I feel very peaceful, very innocent, 
free, almost young again, the way only 
Miranda and this tip of land can make 
me feel: as if my only purpose in 
life is to langor like a cloud in the 
sun and, with my unrippling strength 
and serenity, make others happy. 

"So you'll come with me on my 
moon walk tonight?" Miranda asks, 
patting my hand. She must mistake 
my drowsy nodding for "yes," because 
she says, "Good, that's settled," and 
her voice barely stirs the air. 

For five years, Miranda has lived 
in a lean-to behind Provincetown 
Propane Company. Provincetown Pro- 
pane's CB radio is connected to the 
wall right above her bed, so as I 
lie there trying to sleep, it comes 
through the plywood wall, buzzing, 
hollering, with men calling strange, 
squeaky messages over it. Miranda, 
who sleeps on the floor, doesn't 
seem to notice, although perhaps her 
frown betrays her. Anyone would 
think that Miranda would smile as 
she sleeps, but a very sad frown 
forms on her face at night. It 
doesn't come off until morning, when 
whe opens her eyes and seems to make 
an adjustment. 

Miranda has a thing about not 
having "girl talks" at night. She 
craves sleep. But one night several 
years ago, we stayed up late while 
she told me about her childhood. It 
sounded marvelous and fantastic. I 
almost couldn't believe her; but if 
Miranda is not to be trusted, what 
in my 1 ife can be? 

She was born with blond ringlets, 
dancing feet, and arms which batted 
like soft pink wings about her. Both 
her mother and father had raven-black 
hair, so they couldn't understand her 
coloring, but told Miranda later that 
they had been punished for having 
"produced her six months after the 
ceremony." From her first day, Miranda 

refused to cry or speak, but she 
smiled constantly, and when Wilma, 
who worked at the Forum Diner on 
Route 4, took her in to visit, the other 
waitresses were so charmed by her 
smile and the cooks were so goggle- 
eyed that they never even noticed 
her silence. Then one day when 
Miranda was seven and at Sally 
Thompson's birthday party, the video 
TV broke and the bored children were 
resorting to making weapons from the 
furniture and toys. Otto Coonby was 
throwing the H-bomb, a toaster, at 
the Statue of Liberty, Cynthia Manning, 
when Miranda began talking about worn 
pebbles, crashing waves, the inexorable 
dance of the sun and moon, the terror 
and pride of love, and the sanguine 
smile of compassion. The children 
gathered around; with her soft blond 
curls and manner of speaking—infin- 
itely tender, sensually electric and 
making no sense whatsoever except in 
a musical and repetitive way--they 
were all entranced and smitten with 
love and devotion for her. She was 
named "Spellbinder" for the way the 
children trudged along behind her with 
their mouths hanging open and eyes 
tearing from her words which blew 
like clouds of silver dust in her 

In March, 1967, a special PTA 
meeting was called at Carcroft Ele- 
mentary School to discuss Miranda 
and her influence. The parents split 
into two opposing groups, half insist- 
ing that she exercised "Mind Control" 
and the other half calling her "God". 
The former was made up primarily of 
fathers, the latter of mothers, and 
they argued ferociously, jumping on 
the tables and chairs, until Simon 
Freudman, an English banker who had 
studied at Eton, Cambridge and Harvard, 
stood up and said, "Don't you see, 
parents, that we're all displaying 
the same adoration, fear and guilt 
and there's no way out of human destiny," 
and all the parents got so flustered, 
confused and embarrassed by his achieve- 
ments that they broke up the meeting, 
drank their Hawaiian Punch, ate thetr 
cookies and didn't mention Miranda again. 


She suffered a comeback, however, 
in the seventh grade, when her breasts 
and hips blossomed and even the fathers 
had to admi - that she was "quite some- 
thing." Periodically, she was put 
on a stage beneath a banner which said, 
"Might this Girl be God?" Wilma, who 
rarely spoke anymore, told her to lec- 
ture as if she were not in an auditor- 
ium but kneeling by her bed, saying 
her prayers. So Miranda, dressed in 
a pink suit, with bows in her hair, 
talked about heat and ferns, a full, 
pregnant belly, an island hut; a man, 
a herd of goats, and brilliant tropi- 
cal birds with tangled tails dangling 
down. "Paste wings on human beings — 
even if you don't know why--and watch 
them float heavenward where they won't 
seem so short and their mouths won't 
seem so big. Their moronic, repetitive 
nature will be forgotten and the world 
itself forgiven for its confusion, 
injustice, and bald, terrorized 

"Sail away to a languid hut in 
the jungles and Pacifies of your mind, 
spend the rest of your days climbing 
coconut trees, spearing fish, repro- 
ducing, and langoring like a grape 
in the sun until you shrivel into 
wisdom by realizing that this is as 
much a false and obstinate mirage as 
you, yourself, in every way, are." 

When she explained this to Johnny 
Carson on her first talk-show appear- 
ance in the fall of her ninth grade, 
he leaned over and said, "Who put such 
strange ideas in your lovely head," 
but then he swooned and the segment 
had to be cut. 

In eleventh grade, Miranda ran 
away from home. She wandered; eventu- 
ally, I met her in Provincetown. I 
was still in college. The fall after 
I left, she met Jack, a carpenter, 
who swept her off her feet and married 
her. She gave birth to a son, and 
from then on, till the year he left 
her, she was never seen in public. 

I have wondered why, after Jack 
left, such a beautiful woman moved to 
a town where mostly homosexuals live, 

where few men would notice her. But 
it's just another indication of her 
godessness. It must be. 

Every time I visit Miranda, Mrs. 
Greensly, who runs the motel next 
door, snoops us out. Evidently she 
thinks we're a gay couple like every- 
one else in Provincetown and she gets 
a certain strange delight from study- 
ing us. Miranda says that every after- 
noon Mrs. Greensly, who weighs a good 
250 pounds, is set sail by her child- 
ren, Ronald and Rita, in a Mack truck 
innertube in their above-ground swim- 
ming pool in the dirt behind their 
motel. Today, as we stroll on up to 
Miranda's place, Mrs. Greensly is float- 
ing in her innertube. Her plump 
face is turned upwards like a flower 
in the sun. 

"The sun shines only for her," 
Miranda whispers, leaning against me, 
with a sad catch to her voice that 
I don't understand. 

I start laughing and can't seem 
to stop. 

"Oh, hello gals!" Mrs. Greensly 
calls, aroused. She is instantly 
alert. "How are you, Edith? Coming 
to visit?" 

"Yes I am, thank you, and I'm 

"That's a very flattering dress 
you're wearing. And adventurous. I 
1 ike you in red." 

"Thank you." 

"It certainly ought to impress." 
Her pale eyes sparkle. "Ronald!" she 
screams. "Rita! Come get me out of 
this swamp!" 

Two damp, plump, red-faced child- 
ren in bathingsuits trudge sullenly 
through the dirt, towing a mewing 
cat by a leash. 

"You two positively must come over 
sometime for a girl talk," Mrs. 
Greensly says as Ronald and Rita 


bellyflop into the pool. Their heads 
bob up and, positioning themselves on 
either side of their mother, they start 
ccunting, "10-9-8-7-6-" Mrs.- Greensly 
rolls her eyes, muttering, "Rituals--" 
»5_4_3_2-l-" the children heave and 
Mrs. Greensly struggles onto the sun- 
ning platform. 

Ronald and Rita are pulling the 
cat into the pool as a man shuffles 
across the yard. Startled, I recognize 
him as the fellow in the eskimo jacket 
who I stood next to on the boat. He 
stops before Mrs. Greensly, who is 
spread out on the platform. 

"You Mrs. Greensly?" 

"That's me." 

"Got any rooms?" 

"For how long?" 

The man seems stumped by her 
question. "Oh, maybe a week," he 
says finally. 


"Can I move in immediately?" 

"Sure. What's your name?" 

"J. Christ." 

"What else?" she says dryly, point- 
ing to a tiny grey hut beside the 
garbage heap. "Men," she complains 
slyly, turning to us. He trudges on. 

"Oh, delightful creatures," 
Miranda responds and I agree, "Yes, 
yes, nothing quite like them." 

"Miranda should know," Mrs. Greensly 
says, winking, she turns to me and 
adds, "Your friend and I understand 
each other. My husband was a drunk." 

I never figured myself for an old 
maid, but about ten years ago, when 
Rs. Right hadn't popped up yet, I 
began to suspect that this might happen. 
All my sisters are married, but my 

Mr. Right hadn't popped up yet, I 
mother said that God's planning com- 
mittee slipped up on me and thank him 
for that. It is hard for me to 
believe how little I miss marriage, 
but being not-married came on so grad- 
ually, with pain and embarrassment in 
little spurts and loneliness just a 
continuation of a state I had always 
known. And men, the two or three I 
knew long ago, made me feel so weak 
and malleable, as if I'd melted and 
was just a puddle at their feet. My 
heart seemed cut into, stolen; craved, 
inspected, feared, rejected and ignored. 
Men made me desire to be beautiful , 
to look in mirrors, to captivate 
them, in my heart I ached to. And 
ultimately, fear always conquered their 
passion, and when a woman is plain 
like me, her plainness gives excuse-- 
philosophical , spiritual and gut excuse-- 
to rejection; although this, because 
we are all creatures of dreams, creates 
its own sorrow, and for that, for men, 
I am sorry. 

But long ago I retreated, forget- 
ting about men. Miranda, on the other 
hand, is the only woman I have ever 
known who is a woman easily. Even at 
forty-five, she is exquisite. Her 
face, her delicate features are those 
of a sea goddess rising out of the 
waves, curls draping like foam from her 
head. I believe her to be a woman 
created as all women wish to be made, 
even those who hate their desire to 
be made so. 

Miranda became head bartender at 
the Pied Piper Bar five years ago when 
Jack, who had spent much of his married 
life living in India, stopped writing 
and never returned home. Their son 
had just turned 21 and was working as 
an engineer in a chemical packaging 
plant in New Jersey. The day soon 
afterwards when Miranda came to Boston 
to visit me, she explained that although 
Jack had "left her," he was not irrespon- 
sible. She knew that he sat cross- 
legged all day long in a little stone 
Himalayan temple, then slept outside 
in the moon-drenched valley, reveling 
in the hum of the universe, the dance 


of the planets and beauty of the human 
race; and blessing his good fortune to 
have completed his one necessary duty 
in life: reproduction. Often at night, 
tossing in bed, Miranda felt little 
feet trip across her face, and she knew 
it was him: Jack, roaming to visit 
her with greetings, kisses, and that 
gentle touch of devotion sent only 
from a man to the woman who has borne 
his child. 

"I am not crazy when I know so," 
she insisted softly, bent forward, as 
flushed as the pink of the chair. 
"The nocturnal feet are Jack's way of 
thanking me, believing in me, being 
my husband. Every man has his own 
technique and capacity for touching and 
caring. And every woman has to decide 
how much she wants her husband to see 
through her." 

The night is cool as we cross the 
dunes. Miranda leads me, her feet 
crunching softly in the sand. She 
has made me remove my shoes, and the 
sand is warm from the day's heat. My 
skirt blows about my ankles, my arms 
swing lose in the wind; in the distance, 
the sea moans and all around me is a 
sound, a hum as dark and sensual as 
the night itself, a song of the wind 
and the night-dew whistling through 
the air, settling on my skin and hair. 

"You OK?" she calls. 

I nod happily. 

"Look behind you and you'll see 
the moon." 

I hadn't notice it rise, it was 
so silent. I smile at Miranda and a 
young, girlish warmth passes between 
us. Then she turns, and my feet march 
forward like soldiers across the little 
hills of sand. 

Running down to the beach, my arms 
wings, I fly and descend laughing upon 
the waves which crash and chatter like 
a million arguing voices. The sound 
is deafening and Miranda swirls about, 
spinning, and I, too, spin, my hands 
covering my ears, my feet trampling 

the foam. "I shall return to the 
great sea mother, sea mother, sea 
mother," I cry, louder and louder until 
Miranda hears and starts laughing. Her 
streaming hair blazes in the light of 
the moon, and we catch hands and spin 
dizzily together. 

Now the moon is directly overhead. 
We have almost reached the tip of land. 
Drenched in foam, Miranda falls down 
beside me in the sand, yelling, 
"Have I escaped enough? Am I what is 
wanted of me now?" 

I laugh. Such a lovely voice she 

Again, she yells, or else it's 
the screaming waves, "When will men 
admit that their real gods are false, 
impossible visions of me--" Her 
head falls in her hands. 

I feel exposed and beautiful in 
the elements. 

"I don't know how to get rid of 
my sadness," Miranda whispers or else 
it's a crying bird. "I'm totally 
connected to this, the moon, the sea, 
but I remain apart, a fake, not pure 
or beautiful or woman enough." 

I believe she is praying. "You're 
the most lovely woman I know," I say. 


"But you are." 

"I lied about my childhood--" she's 
still talking "--I almost believe it 
myself, but I'm just a dropout and 

I laugh, overwhelmed: the night-hum, 
the gulls crying, waves crashing, this 
beach, the wind, sand blowing about my 
body and feet. Miranda is whispering 
something now. The same thing over 
and over. I think it is her husband's 

"How wonderful this all is," I 
say. I'm watching as she looks up. 
Her face is streaked with. lovely color 


and she stares at me. She keeps staring, 
as if she's seen a ghost. I feel ex- 
otic and radiant. Perhaps--am I now 
as beautiful and appealing as she? 

Her voice catches. "I think I'll 
" she whispers . 

take a swim, 
I nod. 

Slowly, Miranda undresses. In the 
moonlight, her swaying body glistens, 
blue-grey curls falling to her waist, 
foam necklacing her skin; I am breath- 
less with wonder, intoxicated, by 
this exquisite creature who now 

She runs to the sea. Her head 
sinks. After a while, I cannot tell 
her from the waves. 


(April 30 -May 2, 1982) 

The Women Historians of the Midwest (WHOM) 
are sponsoring the conference to be 
held at The College of St. Catherine, 
St. Paul , Minnesota. 
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, 
WHOM hopes to mount a program that will 
advance its concern with advancing 
scholarship in women's history and 
elevating the status of women in the 
historical profession. The organization 
has also worked to bring knowledge 
about women's history to people who 
are not historians and who may not 
be attending schools and colleges. 

Media Directory 

Third World Archives 


The purpose of the Third World 
Women's Achives is to further the 
development of a network of 
information and support for Third 
World women in the United States. 

The principal goal of the 
archives is to collect, preserve, 
and circulate multi-lingual materials 
of a diverse nature. 

We invite all women and 
anti -sexist men to help make the 
archives a viable resource. You 
can assist by donating or lending 
materials for our collection and-or 
con tibu ting your time, money, 
equipment and supplies. 

For more information: 
P.O. Box 1235 Yale Station, 
New Haven, CT 06520. Checks 
payable to Third World Women's 
Educational Resources. 

Published by the Women's Institute 
for Freedom of the Press, the 1981 INDEX/ 
the increased communication among women 
on a national and international scale. 
Communication among women is critical 
to our very survival. Here media 
women and media-concerned women describe 
their groups, periodicals, and resources. 
The INDEX/DIRECTORY has been published 
annually since 1975 to aid networking 
and increase communication among women. 
To order a copy, send $8 to the 
Women's Institute for Freedom of the 
Press (WIFP), 3306 Ross Place, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20008. 


C. Goldsmith, Watson-Guptill 

Book Review by Nickolas R. Livingston 

Papillon, by Bette G. Cooper 

Watered or painting as art and 
technique has been a confusion of 
opposites from the time of Wins low 
Homer to the present. Homer, typical 
of all great watered orists unconscious- 
ly used these paradoxes of: looseness/ 
control, transparency/solidity, the 
"happy accidenf'/the "happy reality." 
The splash-dash of color is perceived 
as something, then translated into art. 

Lawrence C 
Watered or Bold 

Goldsmith in his book 
and Free explores the 
confusions and paradoxes using 64 non- 
representational plates of artists from 
the United States. The book is about 

technique on one hand, but uniquely 
focuses on specific compositional form 
in each of the 64 plates. He starts 
out by telling us what watered or is: 
an art typically on white paper, of 
transparent color seen as though look- 
ing through stained glass, of free- 
flowing paint spread out in random 
patterns, of gradation of color as the 
paint spreads out, and of the inexpli- 
cable "happy accidents." 

To artists Goldsmith gives advice 
on tapping the creative process: how 
to loosen up and get through the blocks 
and hinderances of tradition. He 


suggests using larger paper to become 
bold—keeping away from what is 
"precious" and usually mediocre, paint- 
ing on paper at arm's length, to pick 
up body rhythms and not just the 
learned responses of the fingers. To 
loosen up he tells us to work wetter, 
with larger brushes, with new color 
combinations, without previous sketches, 
and without a lot of rules. He says 
that the most creative work can be 
achieved by working for a short period 
of time, as loose as possible, never 
trying to finish. 

The bulk of the book, though 
touching on techniques and methods 
in each plate, concentrates on composi- 
tion. Goldsmith suggests that we treat 
the 64 plates as experiments in learn- 
ing. If we have only tried center- 
focused compositions and not let the 
"base dominate" one time, or let the 
"side dominate" in another picture, 
we may be missing a significant part 

of our own creativity. So the 64 plates 
are really prodding messages to— 
"try this—try that— see what you 
like— see how it feels— did you ever 
think of that before?" A brief 
sampling of these messages will give 
some idea of his approach: reveal 
white paper, choose a single value, 
emphasize diagonals, convey a bright 
day, eliminate distance. I like the 
approach because it is aimed at the 
artist's biggest problem— breaking 
old patterns and getting on to a new 
level of development. I'm certain 
the struggling poet who is stuck 
could also use this advice, taken 
directly from the Table of Contents: 

14. Let a Motif Stand Alone 

15. Express a Mood 

16. Choose a Single Value 

17. Use High Key Only 

18. Understand Your Subject 

Evening Star III, 1917, by Georgia O'Keefe 


Or imagine the novelist working on his 
book or the screen writer working on 
a contemporary film: 

19. Invent a Color Scheme 

20. Paint with Pure Color 

21. Gray Field with Bright Accents 

22. Make Restful Areas Count 

The compositional lists could be applied 
to the musician in a rut. Imagine 
Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony, #6" 
while studying items 19 through 22. 
Music is also concerned with color 
schemes, pure color, bright accents, 
and making restful areas count. 

I like Goldsmith's book. I think 
the experiments in composition are 
valuable to creative people in all 
fields. They will jar even the most 
solidified minds to see what is new 
and exciting within their creative 
processes. The book is a delight to 
look at and thumb through over and 
over again. The artists that Gold- 
smith has chosen for his 64 plates 
are the best in the field, so when 
he illustrates a point on composition, 
we are also viewing a small master- 
piece on the other hand. If you are 
interested in the arts--all or any-- 
I recommend this book. 


Yachtswoman Lynne Jewell honored with 
sailing's top award by the Rolex Company 
and labeled 1980 Athlete of the Year in 
Yachting by the Olympic Committee is not 
overly impressed by her accomplishments. 
Although proud of her awards, Jewell noted 
that "life still goes on if you don't win 
them," and added, "I just do what I do 

Right now, she is considered to be the 
yery best. The Terrier sailing team's 
star performer since her freshman year, 
Jewell also manages to juggle a dean's 
list average at the School of Education 
and a double major in human movement and 
special education. Eventually she would 
like to become a sports therapist for 
sailors, stating matter-of-factly that, 
"she'd like to stay close to the sport." 

The daughter of parents who met aboard 
National Geographic 's famed brigantine 
"Yankee" on a voyage around the world, 
Jewell started sailing. at age seven. 
Partnered with her twin brother Bill, she 
began on 12-foot Turnabouts and progressed 
to the singlehanded Sunfish, after her 
brother decided to pursue a career in 
professional motorcycle racing. Her first 
trophy was captured at age 13 at the 
Plymouth Yacht Club, where she now teaches 
sailing in the summers. During her fresh- 
man year, Jewell conquered her present 
boat, the Lazer and started competing 
internationally. She has been accumulat- 
ing honors ever since. 

A strong advocate for women's sailing, 
Jewell sits on the U.S. Yacht Racing 
Union Women's Committee and is anxious 
to see the sport expand in the future. 
As for her own future, she'll be defend- 
ing her Women's Singlehanded National 
Championship this summer and her World 
Singlehanded title in Sardinia, Italy 
in the fall. Jewell is also preparing 
to train for the 1984 Olympics. 

(from B0ST0NIA , Sept. 1981) 



The African and Asian women who 
attended the World Conference of 
Women in Copenhagen provided a 
kaleidoscope of color and variety 
in their many-splendored dress. In 
addition to being visually conspic- 
uous, they also presented informa- 
tion that startled and shocked the 
consciousness of women from the 
Industrialized countries. One 
African woman described now in her 
village women spend four hours a day, 
gathering wood and carrying water. 
That's four hours of hard and heavy 
labor, before the tasks of agricul- 
ture, cooking, cleaning, caring for 
home and children can even begin. 
Problems of poverty and hunger 
become more serious year by year. 
There are 800 million living in 
absolute poverty. Shortages of 
grain and fast-growing populations 
promise much greater strains in 
the years ahead. 

"What limits our response to this 
challenge, on which the destiny 
of humankind depends?" asks the 
Brandt Commission's North-South: 
A Programme of Survival. Answering 
their own question, the writers of 
the report assert that it 1s "not 
primarily the technical solutions 
which are largely already familiar, 
but the non-existence of a clear 
and generalized awareness of the 

realities and dangers and the 

absence of political will to face 

up to them and take corrective action." 

It 1s our hope that this issue of 
The Creative Woman will make one 
small contribution toward that 
growing awareness. The notion 
of an Issue devoted to women of 
the third world was born in 
Copenhagen. The operant defini- 
tion of "third world" was to be a 
simple one— those nations not align- 
ed with either of the two major 
power blocs. As material was 
collected, as the staff worked 
with our consultant editor, 
June Patton, it became apparent 
that "third-worldness" had something 
to do with oppression and powerless- 
ness, not just political geopolitics. 
Minority women in the United States 
then become seen as, in some ways, 
part of the Third World. In an 
even deeper sense, all the women of 
our planet, to the extent that they 
are disenfranchised, discriminated 
against, discounted, and otherwise 
disadvantaged, themselves constitute 
a "Third World". Women of the more 
privileged, industrialized countries 
thus find themselves asserting a 
sense of sisterhood and joining 
hands in the common struggle with all 
women of the world. 

This Issue owes much to the insights 
and energy of Professor June Patton, 
who has worked long and hard on the 
development of this issue. (See box.) 
We are fortunate to have her assist- 
ance, here gratefully acknowledged. 

June O. Patton 

University Professor of 
History, College of 
Arts and Sciences 

Ph.D., University of 
Chicago, 1980 


A recent letter from Vicki Meller 
describes her travels in Mexico with 
a rare sensitivity and acuity of 
observation. In tribute to the women 
and children of Mexico whom she 
appreciatively observed, we include 
here excerpts from her letters: 

from Chihuahua 

"TTie Indian* axe vexy dibtinct faKom 
the Ke*t OjJ the The. women 
and childxen have, a vexy bhont build— 
maybe. lebb than fiive feet. They 
weax lull, peasant blou*e*, bright, 
vexy lull bkixt* that come. ju*t 
below theix knee*, and evidently a 
mountain o& petticoat* . They one. 
alvoayb baxefeot, and they canxy 
buxdenb — oKange*, laundxy, ok a 
baby — in bhawlb o^ blight cloth 
fixing ovex theix back*. We pabbed 
borne pubLLc wabhtubb — old Atone, 
tub* undex bpigotb — today, and thebe 
ladies wexe wabhing theJUi clothe* 
and bpKeading them in an adjacent 
vacant lot. The. lot wab glittexing 
with bn.ok.en gla**, and thebe la.di.ejb 
wexe walking thxough it baxefeot. 

I wab impKebbed." 

Photo: Dick Burd 

from San Bias 

"Labt night I wdlked to the. beach, 
to bee the. moonltght on the. ocean. 
On the. way back, £tve home* came, 
galloping down the. beach in the. 
moonlight — totally alone., not a 
bign o& a hexdex, jubt hoxbe* 
and ocean and moonlight." 

from Oaxaca 

"On one. hand, He.xi.cant> catex to theJUi 
childxen with an enoxmoub amount o$ 
bnJught toy 6, candle*, and attention. 
On the. othex hand, you *ee live to 
bix yeax old* parting vegetable* in 
the. maxket, making change., cleaning 
Kebtauxantb, and helping in the. 
lieldb. IKokc than once. I've gone, 
into a cafe eaxly in the. monning, 
oKdexed cafe con leche, and afitex 
a bKie{ convexbatLon An the. kitchen, 
a child goe* flying out the. dooK 
with an empty pitchex. I've neve* 
been a Mexican child ol ovex live 
being KepKimanded, throwing a tan- 
txum, ok idle. The. childKen hexe 
oKe. one. ol the. thing* that make* me. 
want to know moKe about Mexican 

from Monte Alban 

"Vebtexday we. got a local bpecialty 
feom the. witch doctoK ok bnujo : a 
limpia. limpia. i* litexally clean. 
On Tuebdaub and T-Kiday* maxket* 
hexe. block the. lKe*h hexbh needed, 
and thobe okc the -tonftoi day*. The 
witch doctoK himbell it> an intexebting 
chaxactex—a vexy iKiendly, appaxent- 
ly bhy Indian, young and in itiebtexn 
clothing. He come* iKom a village 
neaK heKe whexe, I be&ceve, all 
local bKujob come feom. They axe 
designated at bixth, how, I don't 
know, but iKom bixth they don't go 
outbide in die daylight till adult- 
hood, and play only with othex bKujo*. 
The cexemony [which we had communally 
with feuxteen othex people) btaxt* 
with setting feux candle* in a bquaxe 
aKound a glabb ol watex. On top 
o$ the watex glabb i* pexched an 
egg, and in {Kont i* incenbe and a 


pKoppe.d-up pictuAe. 0(J the Saint o& 
VeaXh. On eitheA Aide oi the candles 
jU> a laAge bunch o& fateh heAbs— 
baiiZ, taAAogon, camoniZe, and othexs 
I (Udn*t know. AfiteA blc&sing the. 
heJtbi and catting on tho. t>pJbvLU> 
^on. help, the. heJib* axe. patted axound, 
and cveAyone >uib& the. bunch oveA 
them&elve* tike a wa&kAag. Hext 
the egg t& blettzd and passed anound. 
EveAyone. caosscs themsetve* with the 
egg, and, beticve me, i.{ you afie 
devout, cAossing youn&eZfi can be 
quite, an a^aiA. Then the egg t& 
cAackcd tnto the. wateA, and magnitude. 
o& tin absorbed Jus judged by iXs colon.. 
And that 1 s that— the. worn Is titX.eA.ed 
with l>iei>h heAbs—the. melt Jus lantas- 
tic, and tvesiyone. breathe* a sigh 
o£ KeJLLtl tlicut the egg was not 
blackened by theix. sins." 

from Guanajuato 

"Mentally, Mexico is another wotild. 
I think it would take, yea** hejie. 
to begin, to understand how Mexicans 
nzalty think." 

"And on to the Casiibbeanl 
lovl, VAc" 
(Vicky Meller lives in Ithaca, New 
York, and attends Cornell University.) 


Make checks payable to The Creative Woman/GS\J. 
Please send me The Creative Woman for one year. Enclosed is my check or money order for $ 


$ 5.00 regular subscription 

$ 7.00 foreign subscription 

$10.00+ donation and automatic subscription 

$ 8.00 institutional subscription 

Return to: The Creative Woman 

Governors State University 
Park Forest South, IL 60466 






, Creatine 

Governors State University 
Park Forest South, IL 60466 

Nonprofit Org. 
U. S. Postage Paid 
Park Forest South, IL 
Permit #178